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[tit-er] /ˈtɪt ər/
verb (used without object)
to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way, as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.
a tittering laugh.
Origin of titter
1610-20; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse tittra to quiver, Swedish (dial.) tittra to giggle
Related forms
titterer, noun
titteringly, adverb
untittering, adjective
1. snicker, snigger, giggle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for titter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the middle of it I saw Clara begin to titter, but she did not interrupt him.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • "Have a care of the sentinel on the hill-top," Sakr-el-Bahr admonished him, provoking a titter.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • For a moment there was silence, save for a titter from the group of seamen.

    The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman
  • And best of all, there's no mob of nit-wits to titter and smirk.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • There was a titter of laughter at this piece of information.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • But no one did, and some of the younger boys in front began to titter nervously.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The remark was passed from one to another and a titter went round the room.

    Old Ebenezer

    Opie Read
  • It was much that he was able to save his squadron from titter destruction.

British Dictionary definitions for titter


(intransitive) to snigger, esp derisively or in a suppressed way
(transitive) to express by tittering
a suppressed laugh, chuckle, or snigger
Derived Forms
titterer, noun
tittering, adjective
titteringly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for titter

1610s, "giggle in a suppressed or covert way," probably of imitative origin. Related: Tittered; tittering. The noun is first recorded 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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